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Mapp’s plans for life-saving legislation ‘bizarre'

31 October 2005

Mapp’s plans to change life-saving legislation ‘bizarre’ says Smokefree Coalition

National Party MP Wayne Mapp’s talk about changing the ban on smoking in bars and restaurants is bizarre says Smokefree Coalition Director Leigh Sturgiss.

Her comments come after reports that ‘PC buster’ Dr Mapp was looking to weaken the legislation.

“Why would you change something that has huge public support and high compliance, has prompted an increased number of people to quit smoking, improved the health of hospitality workers, and overall not affected business?

“You would think that Mr Mapp would be able to find something better to do than to meddle with a law that will save the lives of thousands of New Zealanders.”

She says that since the introduction in December last year of measures requiring all workplaces, including bars and restaurants to be smokefree inside, overall hospitality industry profits had remained steady, and a survey had found that 97 percent of bars and taverns were complying with the law.

Intentionally, increasing numbers of jurisdictions are going smokefree, with Northern Ireland and Scotland the latest to announce forthcoming bans on smoking in bars and restaurants.

“The National Party seems confused about its position. In early September Don Brash stated ‘It seems very clear that most New Zealanders have welcomed the move to restrict smoking in public areas. At this point we have no plan to change that.’

She says that former National Party health spokesman Paul Hutchison had also assured health groups that there were no plans to change the legislation.

“Dr Mapp seems to have badly misread public opinion and international trends on this one – and forgotten to talk to his colleagues.”

ENDS


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